- Zambia and Zimbabwean authorities will launch a One Stop Border Post at Chirundu over the weekend with a view to harmonise border procedures between the two neighbouring countries.
According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Regional Integration and International Co-operation in Zimbabwe, the opening of the border post would be a major step in fulfilling trade facilitation within the regional bloc.
The Chirundu Border Post was selected as a pilot site as it was one of the busiest borders in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, East African Community (COMESA) region and it is strategically located to provide a link between the North and the South.
The statement further said the programme has enabled the regional economic communities of COMESA, Southern African Development Community (SADC) and their member states and the international community to implement an economic corridor-based approach reducing costs of cross border trade in sub Saharan Africa.
"This will create high levels of economic growth, employment creation and ultimately reducing poverty as this will be an opportunity to outline the bottlenecks to trade that need to be removed in a sequential manner if trade costs are to be reduced," statement read.
UK Department for International Development (DFID) head of southern Africa Helen Mealins said the organisation looks forward to seeing further one stop border posts open across the region. “The UK government is strongly committed to supporting Africa's drive for regional integration," she said.
She said through investing in physical infrastructure as well as improving the regulatory environment for trade and transport along the North South Corridor will transform trade and investment opportunities in the region.
Ms Mealins said delays at border posts along the North South Corridor were one of the biggest constraints to trade in the region thus increasing costs for business and making imports uncompetitive and more expensive.
Once the single stop becomes operational, delays at Chirundu are expected to fall by between 30 and 50 percent.
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